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Editorial: The Circle of Giving

In talking about poverty and hunger in Oyster Bay, Barbara Rakusin, executive director of Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay-East Norwich made a very pertinent comment.

“Its amazing that all the organizations collaborate and work together. These are informal arrangements that have been made over many, many years. It’s wonderful,” she said.

That is so true, and in the discussion of helping the community fight hunger, it seems the Celia Flower Food Pantry keeps coming up. The pantry is named for Celia Flower, the wife of Butler Flower of the Frank M. Flower & Sons, Inc. shellfishers and at the Flower’s booth at the Oyster Festival they were selling T-shirts for the benefit of the pantry. Besides donating oysters and clams for the festival they actively seek donations for the Celia Flower Food Pantry by selling T-shirts with the Flower’s logo on them.

The pantry was originally located at St. Paul’s Methodist Church of Oyster Bay in what is now the North Shore Community Church building. The St. Paul’s congregation re-united with the Wesley Methodist Church in East Norwich to create the Community United Methodist Church of East Norwich which now administers the Celia Flower Food Pantry.

The more you know of the history of Oyster Bay, East Norwich and Bayville the more meaningful it is to live here.

FYI: Here are some addresses to make your holiday giving easier. The best gift for the holiday is the one you give yourself when you give to others.

Donations to The Celia Flower Food Pantry can be sent to the Community United Methodist Church, 1300 Jericho-Oyster Bay Rd., East Norwich, NY 11732.

To donate to The Holiday Sharing Program send donations to C.S.A.C., P.O. Box 231, Oyster Bay, NY 11771. It is a committee of the Inter-religious and Human Needs Council.

For donations to the Youth and Family Counseling Agency of Oyster Bay- East Norwich, the address is 193A South Street, Oyster Bay, NY 11771. You can also call Shirlee Gerstein at 922-6867 to ask about adopting a family.

As Barbara Rakusin said at her talk at the Oyster Bay Civic Association, all the Oyster Bay agencies and churches work together for the good of the community so you are doing good, wherever you donate. It will go to the people who need help. That is always reassuring in this age of phoney appeals. We just received notice by email that we had won a million dollar lottery. Since we have never bought a lottery ticket that is a miracle. It is also nonsense and another email scam. It is things like that that make it meaningful to donate to our local not-for-profits. We know the people who administer them; we know the organizations; and sometimes we know they know and are helping the people who truly need help.

Happy Holidays!